Chippewa River’s Levels Affect Homes, Public Advised to Avoid it

Not only have roads and buildings been greatly affected by the flooding, the Chippewa River’s water levels are very high and unsafe.

9&10’s Taylor Jones spoke with people living near its banks.

The levels remain high right now.

Though we’re told they have receded to a certain extent.

The health department is warning everyone the river could be contaminated.

“As you can see the water got up to about where we’re standing which is probably 8 to 10 feet above maybe even 13 feet above the normal height of the river,” Mike Gray said.

Mike and his wife Rosie live along the Chippewa River.

And looking in their yard and basement, signs of the flooding would be hard to miss.

“In the basement we had carpet so we had carpet and pad that was destroyed. It’s quiet a mess and we were fortunate that we got up and started our pumps, if we wouldn’t have it would have been four or five feet up to the level of the river which is super high,” Mike said.

The couple has lived on the river for years and has never seen the water this high

“It kind of comes with the territory, we have a beautiful place and we enjoy it but there is a time when we have to pay the price and this was it,” Mike said.

Following a release of raw sewage late last week, the Central Michigan District Health Department is now telling people to avoid the water.

“There could be anything in all honesty, feces, sewage, that’s where you get the E. Coli from. There could be chemicals so again we talked about debris there’s many dangers,” Steve Hall, Central Michigan Health Department officer said.

They issued a warning not to swim, canoe, or kayak because you could get sick.

“One of the things we’re worried about is Gastric Intestinal Diarrhea Illnesses especially kids they have a tendency to like to put things in their mouth so it’s really important that you avoid that contact,” Hall said.

Professionals will be testing the river once conditions are safe.

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